JERUSALEM (Jan. 19)
The Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman denied tonight that Prime Minister Levi Eshkol had sent special, personal letters to President Johnson in Washington and Gen. de Gaulle in Paris on the Syrian border crisis. Reports to the effect that Mr. Eshkol had made this direct contact with the two Western leaders had received considerable attention in Israel and abroad.
The spokesman said categorically that “no letters were sent to heads of state of other governments regarding the situation on the Syrian frontier. Representatives of Israel in various capitals, and, in particular, the capitals of states who are members of the Security Council, were instructed to approach the governments to which they are accredited and to clarify verbally, at the appropriate level, the views of the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Israel with regard to the situation created by Syrian aggression.
“Our representatives,” the spokesman added, “were asked to endeavor to ensure that Israel’s position be brought to the personal attention of heads of governments and foreign ministers.”
According to the earlier reports, Premier Eshkol told President Johnson and President de Gaulle that a dangerous situation had been created on Israel’s border as a result of Syrian incidents. Mr. Eshkol was reported to have said also to the two Presidents that Israel’s northern border security was becoming “intolerable” and that there was “a limit to Israel’s patience.” He assertedly advised the two Presidents that if the United Nations and the major powers failed to induce Syria to halt its anti-Israel attacks, Israel would have to take concrete measures to defend its territory, according to the circumstances and available means.